Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

'Sultan of Coins' Executed for Hoarding Tons of Gold

'Sultan of Coins' Executed for Hoarding Tons of Gold

Both of them were convicted of "spreading corruption on earth", a capital offence under Iran's Islamic laws.

Iran has executed a currency trader known as the "Sultan of Coins" for his amassing of gold coins.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approved a judicial request in August establishing a special court for those suspected of financial crimes, which has since sentenced several people to death.

They had been convicted of manipulating coin and hard currency markets through illegal and unauthorised deals as well as smuggling.

The UN, Western countries, and worldwide human rights groups have expressed concerns about the rising number of executions and reported torture incidences in Iran for a variety of alleged offenses, including issues related to religious freedom, women's rights, and economic protests.

Mazloumin, 58, who was arrested in July had collected two tons of coin over a ten-month period.

The local currency has plummeted in recent months following US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal in May, which had lifted global sanctions in return for Iran curbing its nuclear programme.

The second man was part of Mazloumin's network and had been involved in the sale of gold coins, Mizan reported.

A second co-defendant, Hamid Bagheri-Dermani, was also accused of corruption and sentenced to death at the original trial.

The Iranian rial has plunged to 135,000 to the dollar from last year's rate of around 40,500.

"Use of the death penalty is appalling under any circumstances but it is even more horrific given that these men were convicted after a grossly unfair show trial that was broadcast on state television", said Philip Luther, Amnesty International's research and advocacy director for Middle East and North Africa.

Sporadic protests over the deteriorating economy have erupted in recent months.

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